New York City’s public schools will not reopen until September 21, under a deal Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio struck with the teachers’ unions at the last minute, officials said.
All students will start online learning on September 16, and then will be allowed to move to a hybrid in-person/remote model five days later, de Blasio and NYC schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said.
The New York Post reported that the schools were initially supposed to reopen for partial in-person learning on September 10.
But an escalating conflict between the United Federation of Teachers and City Hall — including threats from the teachers of going on strike if there were no more safety precautions put in place due to the coronavirus — forced the administration to push back the school reopening to address concerns such as coronavirus testing.
Officials say that under the revised plan, 20 percent of students and teachers at each school will be tested at random on a monthly basis.
If parents of students refuse the test, their children must go to “remote-only” learning. If teachers refuse to take the test, they will be placed on unpaid leave.
Students or staff who test positive for the virus, even if they do not have symptoms, will be quarantined for 14 days.
WABC reported that if one student in a class tests positive for the coronavirus, the entire class will move to remote instruction. If more than one case in a school is reported, the entire school will move to remote learning until contract tracing is finished.